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I am about to head home after my visit to MD Anderson. So far nothing much to report. The doctor was very nice and did spend a good half hour with me asking what I waswanting from him and and talknig to me about how I am feeling. He went on and on about how well I was doing--couldn't believe I have been through all the treatment I have been throguh and am still working full time and taking care of a 3 year old. I said that I didn't usually see it that way--I don't think of myself as a cancer patient, but as a 30 year old mom, and I do what I need to do and get aggravated at how my inability to breathe slows me down.

He ordered more tests--I haven't had a CT for a while, and he wants a brain MRI. The capacity of my right lung is visibly down since the original scans in January, and he explained that the radiation has done that--just by making so much of my lung scarred and inflexible. He said that is also why my right shoulder has pulled down so much lower than my left, which is probably why my back and shoulder hurt so much.

Anyway, he said that his recommendation, assuming there is nothing new that shows up on these scans this week, is that I stick with the Iressa for as long as it continues to hold me stable. He said there are plenty of things left for me to try, but that people have been remianing stable on Iressa for 2 years and more, and that may be the case for me. Anyway, I'll come back next week after I have these tests done and see what he has to say then. I get his point--I don't really like the idea of sitting here waiting for something bad to happen, but Iressa seems to be doing something, so I shouldn't knock it.


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Hey Becky,

Glad to hear about your visit to MD Anderson. I will pray that your tests all come out good for you. It is good to know that the Irressa is keeping you stable. You said that they're were other options? Do you mind sharing some, and what did he say about RFA? I just want these doctors to be proactive and aggressive for you! It sounds like he was impressed by your determiation to continue to work and manage a 3 year old, as am I.

Keeping you in my prayers and thoughts,


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He didn't go into my other options at this point--he really wanted to wait until after I have all the tests done before we get into much. I didn't ask him about the RFA this time--will do that next week. He did say that the fact that I have been on Iressa takes me out of the running for a lot of clinical trials because several drugs in the pipeline work in similar ways to Iressa, but that there were several other research studies that I would be eligible for now and still eligible for if and when Iressa stops working for me.

As for working--I have the greatest job, boss, colleagues in the world--all working to make things as easy for me as possible. Aside from that, as long as I am well enoguh to be able to be here, it makes a world of difference mentally to get up and go to work. Those months I was doing chemo and radiation and recovering from surgery were way more depressing than the months I have been back, and back then I was still happily hoping that there would be surgery and an "end" to this in the summer. The other part of it is that I have worked full time now for almost 18 months. Before that I was in graduate school, living on teaching assistantships and not paying Social Security. As of my last birthday, my disability payout from Social Security would be about $260 a month. I don't have disability through work because when I started here a healthy 29 year old with a lot of debt from school, I thought I would add that coverage later and pay off some things first. That gamble sure didn't pay off!

I have to run and call the hospital here at home today. The doctor yesterday wanted me to stick around and have a CT scan and MRI there. I asked if there was a problem with me doing it in Nacogdoches--at my little hospital, I can make an appointment, wait for 15-30 minutes, have the test done, and get back to my life. At MD Anderson, well, let's just say the waits are longer.

I'll keep you all posted as things develop.


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